Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 15, 2005 / 6 Nissan, 5765

Does Israel want Arab democracy?

By Jeff Jacoby


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article



In Crawford, Bush loyally described Sharon's plan as ''courageous," but he must know that it is nothing of the sort. It is a blow to Israeli democracy no less than to Arab democracy, and a blow to the cause of Middle East freedom for which the United States is sacrificing so much


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | During their press conference in Crawford, Texas, this week, President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon referred several times to Palestinian democracy. Bush, for example, mentioned his ''vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side." Sharon said the Palestinians should ''choose the path of democracy and law and order."


But there was little in their words or body language to suggest that this democracy talk was anything more than lip service. An Arab Palestine in which ordinary citizens could freely criticize their rulers? In which political power wasn't monopolized by terrorist groups? In which the government didn't stoke the fires of anti-Semitism in order to deflect attention from its own corruption? In which there was freedom of speech and conscience? In which the outcome of elections wasn't predetermined? No — that sort of genuine and vibrant democracy seemed far removed from anything that Bush or Sharon was expecting, let alone demanding, from Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.


In Sharon's case, this comes as no surprise. Like his predecessors dating back to Yitzhak Rabin, Sharon has never regarded the democratizing of Palestinian society as a priority. Quite the contrary. Believing that only an iron-fisted ruler could suppress terrorism and make peace, Israeli leaders have actually welcomed Palestinian autocracy. In a notorious comment early in the Oslo years, Rabin assured Israelis that Yasser Arafat would be able to crack down on terrorism since he, unlike Israeli authorities, wouldn't be hampered by a supreme court or human rights groups. The absence of Palestinian democracy and civil liberties, far from being seen as a root of terrorism, was hailed as a boon in fighting it.


But if Sharon has never believed Arab democracy is essential to peace and progress, the same can't be said about Bush. No contemporary political leader has championed freedom and self-government for the people of the Middle East more fervently. None has argued with more conviction that the key to ending terrorism and the fanaticism that spawns it is decent, democratic governance. None has proclaimed a more sweeping doctrine of liberation and human dignity. ''It is the policy of the United States," he avowed in his second inaugural address, ''to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."


In recent months, the bubbling of democratic ferment has lifted hopes across the Middle East. In Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, even in Syria and Saudi Arabia, an ''Arab spring" is beginning to transform what has been till now the most reactionary region on earth. Sooner than anyone predicted, Bush's faith in democratic revolution has begun to bear fruit — to seem not just idealistic, but realistic.


If that faith should have special relevance anywhere, it is in the Palestinian Authority. For it was with regard to the Palestinians that Bush first expressed the idea that diplomatic gains and international legitimacy must be linked to democratic reform. In June 2002, he declared that before there could be a Palestinian state, there would have to be ''a new and different Palestinian leadership . . . not compromised by terror." Palestinian society, he said, must become ''a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty."


But with no Israeli interest in promoting Palestinian reform, Bush's principled stand came to naught. Arafat was shunned, but Sharon embraced Arafat's longtime crony Abbas — a PLO veteran deeply ''compromised by terror."


Instead of making Palestinian progress on human rights and freedom the price of further Israeli concessions, Sharon announced that Israel would unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip and expel the Jews living there. Sharon's retreat will do nothing to encourage democracy. It will simply condemn a million Gaza Arabs to the permanent despotism of the Palestininan Authority.


In Crawford, Bush loyally described Sharon's plan as ''courageous," but he must know that it is nothing of the sort. It is a blow to Israeli democracy no less than to Arab democracy, and a blow to the cause of Middle East freedom for which the United States is sacrificing so much.


For the first time in Israel's history, the United States is led by a president determined to see liberal democracy take root in the Arab world. For the first time, the Arab Middle East is alive with democratic possibility. Never has there been a better opportunity to transform Palestinian society from a dangerous, hate-filled dictatorship into a civilized, self-governing democracy. If Israel squanders this chance to nurture liberty and tolerance in its own back yard, it may never get another.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in uplifting articles. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.


Jeff Jacoby Archives


© 2005, Boston Globe